Ellen's Cafe embodies the warm Texas-small-town spirit of Old Town Spring with its cheerful staff and menu of made-from-scratch classics. Owner Ellen Saxe can often be spotted bustling about the restaurant, greeting customers and guiding them toward tables in the bright-yellow dining room or out on the sunny front porch. In the kitchen, her husband and head chef, Alan Saxe, captains a kitchen crew as they whip eggs into five types of quiche and assemble freshly baked breads into hearty sandwiches that have been lauded by the Humble Observer. Meanwhile, pots of the soup of the day bubble on stovetops as housemade pies and cobblers rise in ovens. The husband-and-wife duo peddles their own fudge and old-fashioned ice cream, crafting all their products themselves rather than commissioning teams of tree-dwelling elves to mass-produce them.
It started with a single sound—the sizzle of eggs as they hit the bacon-greased iron skillet. And with that, an 8-year-old Chef Ambrose stepped into the culinary arts, going from a kid helping his dad with barbecue to a chef with two gold medals from Culinary Institute LeNôtre. At Just Burgers, Chef Ambrose lends his culinary expertise to hamburgers he sculpts fresh daily, grilling and sandwiching each Black Angus-beauty on a choice of a ciabatta, wheat, or the popular pretzel bun, which often sells out nightly. He also dresses each one in fresh toppings, along with occasional organic goodies gleaned from visits to the farmers' market. Running a BYOB establishment, Just Burgers' team members charge no fees for uncorking wine bottles or prying off beer caps with their teeth.
At Red Dot Cuisine, crabmeat cocktails garnished with mango caviar arrive at tables with an unexpected twist: the cocktail glass serves as the top of a mini fish bowl, with an actual goldfish inside doing laps. It's just one of the creative touches that make Red Dot's upscale bistro into a dining experience. The bar, lunch, and dinner menus combine Indian and American cuisine elements, yielding dishes such as the tandoori turkey panini with cranberry-flavored mayo. Specialty cocktails such as lychee martinis and tamarind mojitos complement meals, and an eclectic roster of desserts includes raspberry chocolate cake and fried Oreos with Shiner Bock ice cream.
Taking its name from the Mayan word for hummingbird, Zunum strives to fill mealtime with harmony and joy. Silhouettes of trees cling to the walls of the airy dining room that overlooks Zunum World, a play area for kids. The menu runs the gamut, with pastas, salads, paninis, and burgers that pair with glasses of wine.
A 250-foot granite-top bar, comfortable booths, and a shaded patio area unite patrons of Jack's Place with ample opportunity to comfortably silence crooning stomachs. As they dine under the glow of the massive Jack Daniels chandelier and tackle appetizers to a cadence provided by the 64-speaker surround system, patrons can peruse a complete menu of specialties including the chicken-fried steak with roasted jalapeño country gravy ($11.49). Exclusive seasoning rubs prepare the 6-ounce filet mignon ($15.99) for table trips, as well as the slow-grilled fajitas ($12.99 for beef; $14.99 for shrimp), which arrive on a steaming hot Comal with onions, pico de gallo, seasoned rice, and homemade tortillas. After cleaning off plates, diners can reward themselves with a big bad brownie steak topped with cinnamon ice cream ($6.99) or a rousing game of pool to keep hungry corner pockets from complaining out of jealousy.
Culled from natural ingredients, Berripop's nonfat frozen yogurt is whipped fresh daily and infused with vibrant flavors. Sate chromatic cravings with Berripop's rainbow of taste-hues, such as luscious chocolate, refreshing mango, piquant green apple, and delectably indecisive raspberry-pomegranate. With a twist of the faucet, yogurus whirl out a medium-sized mound ($4.50) to be adorned with edible textures from a topping bar rife with fresh kiwi, raspberries, almonds, Cap'n Crunch, Reese's peanut-butter cups, and more ($1 for unlimited toppings). Alternatively, guests can enjoy smoothies, parfaits, or shaved ice to make tongues feel as cool as Fonzie sledding the Alps on a gold record. Each location of the Texas-born dairy dispensary beams with a bright modern interior, free WIFI, and flat-screen TVs to entertain eyes as they fill bellies. Groupon buyers who return again within one month of their first purchase will receive 50% off their next set of treats.